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Flakka: What Is It?

Posted on :  August 31st, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

If it seems like people are always looking for new ways to get high, your perception is correct. Somewhere, someone is trying something to get high. The latest discovery is a synthetic drug called “flakka”, which made its media debut in April 2015. This drug is entering North America in Florida and it is coming from countries like Pakistan, India, and China. People who have been trying flakka are ending up in emergency rooms and police stations.

Flakka is also called “gravel” because it looks like it is made of small crystalline pebbles and it smells horrible. It is made from a khat plant which produces a stimulant that behaves like an amphetamine. In Pakistan, India, and China, some people actually use the leaves of the khat plant as a chew to get a high. This is similar to the people in South America who chew on coca plant. Alpha-PVP is the active ingredient that causes the high in flakka. In 2014, the DEA (United States Drug Enforcement Agency) banned alpha-PVP, but the substance is still used all over the country. In the southern Florida county of Broward, alpha-PVP was involved in nearly 200 cases in 2014. But, in the first quarter of 2015, over 300 cases were filed in that same county. Many of them had to do with flakka.

Users can vape, smoke, inject, swallow, or inhale the drug. Since it can be vaped, it is easy to take the drug in public. Most people have no idea what flakka is, so no one thinks twice about it.

When flakka enters the body it immediately attacks the central nervous system. It works by blocking the re-uptake of both dopamine and norepinephrine. By blocking the absorption of those brain chemicals, the brain becomes flooded which causes extreme pleasure. Amphetamine drug users experience relatively the same high.

But, like all drugs, flakka does not last. Users only need to take a small amount of flakka to get high and since the drug is inexpensive, it is easy for users to get. The drug increases the heart rate and causes heart palpitations. Users also experience shortness of breath and they get extremely excited. The sense of euphoria increases, too. After a short time, the euphoria ends because the brain begins to hallucinate from the excess dopamine and norepinephrine. Physically, the body temperature increases, as some users experience a body temperature spike of up to 41 degrees Celsius. As a result, many users take off all of their clothes and often in public! People have been arrested for being naked in public and then found to be using flakka.

As the body tries to maintain homeostasis, the user experiences an adrenaline rush, which causes violent and agitated outbreaks. They also experience the super-human strength that often comes with adrenaline rushes which is why many arrests require several officers to restrain a user. Because of the hallucinations, users experience paranoia, too. They are quite dangerous to people around them.

Because of the strength and cost of flakka, it is a dangerous drug to have on the streets. Most users only need one tenth of a gram to trigger a high. The cost is usually around $5 per use. The low price and the low dosage means that many users try more than they should. The dosage increase affects the brain by creating an excited delirium that includes agitation and excitement; this effect lasts longer as the doses get higher.

The other danger is due to the increased body temperature and the effect on muscle tissue. High body heat breaks down this tissue which is sent into the bloodstream. This then causes kidney failure. Some people have heart attacks as a result of the increased body temperature from using flakka. No one develops a tolerance to the drug, so it is easy to overdose at any time.

If you or someone you know need any treatment, contact us at our head office at 905-527-2042 to get the best addiction treatment.


How Drug Use Affects the World

Posted on :  August 28th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Drug abuse affects more than just the small communities where drugs are sold and used. The entire world is affected by drug use. Since nearly 200 million people use illegal drug (not alcohol and tobacco) all over the world, it is easy to imagine the costs related to accidents, health care, and policing.

Studies have been conducted to investigate the world wide effects of drugs like opioids, cocaine, amphetamines, and marijuana. The numbers included information about dependency, fatalities, and medical problems. These drugs were picked for the studies because they are most commonly abused and there are so many numbers available all over the world.

The studies showed that between 125 and 200 million people use marijuana. Between 15 and 55 million people use amphetamines. Nearly 20 million people use opioids and cocaine. Injected drugs are used by as many as 21 million people. Five percent of people between the ages of 15 and 64 use illegal drugs. These statistics are shocking, especially when you consider that one out of every 20 people you know are statistically drug users.

When it comes to health problems relating to drug abuse, overdose by death is an obvious problem. Other major problems include cardiovascular and pulmonary problems like lung disease, heart attacks, and breathing issues. People also suffer from kidney and liver disorders as well as mental illnesses due to drug abuse. These health problems tend to come with large price tags.

Keep in mind that these numbers do not include people who use tobacco or drink alcohol and currently, over 16 million people in the United States, alone, have health problems directly related to tobacco use. When it comes to alcohol abuse, nearly 2 million people around the world die from it. Illegal drug abuse takes about 250,000 people globally each year. Lives are significantly shortened by drug abuse and experts estimate that nearly 2 million years of life are lost annually. This is a sad statistic because so many young people use drugs and they usually die from them, too.

When people do not die from drug use, their health care costs rapidly run out of control. The price tag extends into the billions of dollars. Caring from chronic health problems involves regular stays in hospitals and visits to emergency rooms. The costs include numerous prescription medications, too. Many people who suffer from problems relating to their drug addiction are unable to work, so they rely on the government to cover their medical expenses.

Drug use not only causes an increase in medical expenses, but it causes problems with work productivity. If one out of every twenty people uses drugs, it is likely that they use drugs at work. Employers who do any sort of drug testing do it because they suspect that their employees are using drugs. Employers have to spend money that could be used for other things on drug testing expenses. Accidents are more likely to happen when employees are using drugs, which can cause insurance rates to increase. Costs can quickly snowball.

Drug dependency is always a problem. At this time, there is no way to accurately find how many drug users develop a dependency. There is not a way to statistically and accurately predict what drug users will need health care and how much those costs could be. What statisticians and researchers can say is that the trend shows that health care costs due to drug use will increase, especially because the number of people who use illegal drugs continues to grow.

If you have any questions about drug use in our community, please contact us at info@towardsrecovery.com. We are happy to help.


Breath Testing: Immediate Results Deliver Knowledge

Posted on :  August 26th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Testing for drugs just got easier. Move over urine samples and blood tests, now all that is needed is breath.

Moving Away from Urine and Blood Tests

For years, the test of choice for drugs or alcohol has been the urine test. This invasive test is not always reliable. There are several ways for users to get around the test, by purchasing clean urine and by loading samples with other substances and medications. Since the sample has to be obtained with a witness, many people find that it is an invasion of privacy to ask for a urine sample. The samples can also be mishandled and contaminated. Time is overdue for a new, more efficient way to test for drugs.

Detecting Tiny Particles in the Moisture of the Exhalation

The new approach is through a breath test. The process is called liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. It is a very sensitive method that works by capturing the particles in an exhalation. The device filters the exhalation for drugs and can find everything from cocaine and marijuana to amphetamines and methamphetamines. With a quick turn-around time, this testing method will be useful for law enforcement officers who need to know right away if a perpetrator is under the influence of dangerous and illegal narcotics. When drivers are pulled over the driving infractions, police can use this breath test to immediately tell if the driver is a safety hazard.

Providing Immediate Feedback for Decision Makers

Along with law enforcement officers, employers will also benefit from immediate knowledge about drug abuse. Some employers use random drug testing to insure that their employees are sober at work. Professional and amateur athletic teams will also be able to tell if their athletes are high before they venture onto the field. Employees who work in emergency rooms will also be able to make better decisions for patient care based on the results of these fast tests, too. School officials can also use the test to see if students are under the influence and they can make quick decisions about suspensions. The breath test can also tell medical personnel if a patient is their prescribed medications; taking medications is a problem for people with some psychological disorders.

Preventing Safety Hazards at the Work Place

Testing for illegal drugs and knowing immediate results is important for several reasons. One of the most important is that many drug users are employed. Of those drug users, many of them actually go to work high, which creates a major safety hazard for themselves and for the people who work with them. Employers who can immediately test employees will be able to cut down on workplace accidents, productivity loss, and medical expenses.

Saving Money with the New Breath Test

When looking at the numbers relating to employees who are drug users, some estimate the close to 45,000 people come to work high annually. This is a big number and it can be costly. Because of the expenses involved in loss of productivity and costs of accidents, it is a good idea for employers to randomly test their employees for drug use. About 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies test their employees for drug use both randomly and regularly.

Employee Hiring and Retention Numbers will Change

Employees who use drugs and have to be fired cost employers. Hiring and training new, replacement employees is expensive. Because of this growing expense, many employers are performing drug tests prior to employment. Around 70 percent of large employers do this. With the old blood tests and urine tests, lab expenses and medical expenses are high for employers. This new breath test makes drug testing affordable for all employers and it removes the wait time completely.

If you or someone you know need any treatment, contact us at our head office at 905-527-2042 to get the best addiction treatment.


Rock Bottom: What Is It?

Posted on :  July 31st, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Many addicts talk about reaching rock bottom before they sought help from family, friends, or treatment centers. When referring to hitting rock bottom, most addicts are talking about reaching an all-time low. But, if you were to talk to addicts, the “rock bottom” moments are as unique as they are. If you or someone you love is experiencing a drug addiction, you might not want to wait until rock bottom is reached, but it is a good idea to know what you might need to recognize some day.

Users do not look for rock bottom when they become addicts. They are actually looking for the ultimate high. Some people hit rock bottom when they recognize that the metaphoric hole they are in is so deep that cannot get out without help. Others realize that they have lost everything that was once meaningful to them, like their loved ones and their careers. There are other addicts who find themselves waking up in places they do not recognize in situations they do not remember. Some might feel suicidal when they reach the lowest of the low. When you are trying to recognize rock bottom, here are some clues to help you see it clearly:

  1. Have you had more than you can handle. Addicts who have self-proclaimed rock bottom moments recognize that they cannot take anymore. They have exhausted their resources and stretched limits, which has left them nothing but constant suffering. It some cases, people have overstretched their limits so much that they lose their homes because they spend every penny on drugs. Others might find themselves completely alone because their friends and family have had more than they can take, too. The idea of “that’s enough” is a sign that rock bottom is nearby or you have already reached it. When you recognize that you have had more that you handle, it is time to decide if you want to start reaching towards life and away from death.
  2. Weigh the pros and cons. After recognizing that you have reached your limits, it is time to self evaluate. You will need to decide whether or not you really want to become sober and what you need to get the job done. The road to recovery is long and bumpy, so it is important to know the pros and cons of setting foot on it. Seeing the pros and cons in print can help you make a wise decision, especially because you will see the damage that you are doing due to the addiction. Most addicts are able to rationalize their drug use, but with a solid list of reality to guide you, those rationalizations become moot points. You might even find that you are unable to craft any pros about drug use.
  3. How have you benefited from your drug use? This question might seem like a ridiculous question to a sober person, but people who are addicted to drugs often think that drug use helps them in numerous ways. Most people who try to change the behavior of an addict will look at why drugs are bad, but this just frustrates an addict, who does not want to hear it. All they want is the next fix, because that is all their brains are hoping for, so real logic does make it through the pain and desire. When rock bottom is near, it is a good idea to ask what drug use has done for you? Are you helping anyone? Are you making a difference? Are you adding to society? Are you learning anything about the world or yourself? Are you making friends and meeting good people? By trying to answer those questions, drug addicts might begin to see the outcomes of their addiction. It can be difficult to see beyond the next high and so many addicts have disappointed themselves by giving up on their positive goals that they once had before the drugs took over their lives.

If you need any treatment or want to know more about methadone treatment or other optional treatments, contact Towards Recovery Clinics at 905-527-2042.


The Dangers of Prescription Drugs

Posted on :  July 29th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Visiting the doctor has become synonymous with getting a prescription for medication. Doctors prescribe medication for every problem imaginable. From medication that helps kids sit through school lessons to pills that stop debilitating pain, medication is the answer that everyone is looking to find. While many of the prescriptions that physicians write really do good things for the people who take them, there are plenty of other drugs that can become life-changing in a bad way.

When Abuse Begins to Happen

For many people, prescription drug use is a normal way of life. They take medications to help regulate their thyroid or their high blood pressure. Their prescriptions are not abused, but taken dose by dose, day by day. On the other hand, there are people who are just seeking prescription medication to help fuel their abuse. They might shop doctors in the area to see which ones are quick to write prescriptions for pain medications.

Addicts who need pain medications to keep their bodies functioning will do whatever they can to get the medications legally for as long as they can. This might include seeing many different doctors, especially after they have exhausted their own. The prescription drugs that most addicts seek are opiates like Oxycontin and Vicodin. Once the prescriptions run out, most addicts are able to find what they want, either from friends or from dealers. Even friends can be tricked into sharing a few pills from their own cache of unused prescription bottles.

How the Abuse Grows and Develops

Eventually, men and women who abuse prescription drugs can land in a downward spiral. It might seem like prescription medications are easy addictions to break, but for those who have been abusing opioids, this is far from the truth. Prescription drugs are the new gateway drug, because the addicting ones are so similar in structure to hard, illicit drugs. Some call Oxycontin the legal form of heroin because the two drugs behave in the same way. Many prescription drug users will combine their Oxycontin or Vicodin with other drugs and with alcohol to create a more extreme high. This behavior can land a drug abuser in the hospital or even in the morgue, even with accidental mixing. With the fact that opioids in prescription drugs eventually create tolerance, the abuser really does physically feel like he or she needs more. When physicians block this need, the drug abuser will turn to drugs that are easier to get – like actual heroin.

When the Abuse Hurts Loved Ones

Prescription drug problems eventually end up hurting loved ones. In many situations, the drug abuse began after being prescribed painkillers after surgery, giving birth, or having an accident. Life continues on as usual, but the need for drugs strengthens. Addicts then begin to change their lives to get drugs. They steal from their family members and friends, they skip work, and they forget to pay bills. All of these behaviors can create problems with family and friends, who are not drug abusers. Many prescription drug abusers end up turning to the streets to find what they are looking for to get the fix. Unfortunately, the people who are busy selling opioids do not care about what is happening to their customers’ lives, as long as the addiction continues and the money keeps coming.

Looking Into Ways to Protect People from Prescription Meds

Fortunately for everyone involved with prescription drug abuse, there are plenty of things being done to curb it. The first is watching the prescriptions of key physicians. With online health records, it is much easier to find a doctor who is writing an unusual amount of pain medication and it is easy for doctors to see patients who are shopping for meds.

Since over 15,000 people annually die in the United States from prescription medication abuse, researchers are taking note and looking for solutions. The companies that manufacture prescription medication are looking for ways to remove those addicting drugs from their products. Lawmakers are also pondering what to do with dangerously addicting prescription drugs. Should they be easy to obtain? Should there be more regulation on them? How involved should the government be?

If you have any questions or you want to visit us, please contact us at our head office at 905-527-2042.


Heroin Epidemic: Changing Demographics

Posted on :  July 27th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

The stereotypical heroin addict image is very different from what the average heroin junkie looks like today. Many people imagine a person who is too thin with sunken eyes, dirty hair, and poor. Now, the typical heroin addict no longer steals and no longer survives day-by-day living on the streets with other addicts. The junkie of today generally developed a heroin addiction from prescription pain medications. When they were no longer able to get pain medication, they turned to heroin. Instead of being poor and living on the streets, today’s addict could be a man or woman and usually is educated with a well-paying job in a professional field.

Most addicts find that their problem began in their early 20s. They once had a prescription to a pain medication for a variety of reasons, like car accidents, surgery recovery, or sports-related accidents. Most of the people who are now addicted to opioids lived (and might still live) in comfortable suburbs and they usually had good health insurance, which helped them afford the expensive prescriptions.

There are several opioid pills that are approved for medical prescriptions and they work so well because they bind to receptors in the human brain. Eventually, those receptors want more because they build up a tolerance to the opioid. When the drug works, the user might feel sleepy, a bit nauseous, and they also feel euphoria. After a while, it becomes difficult for users to get the same feeling. Usually, at this point, the prescription is no longer valid and the physician will not write another one. So, users need to find another way to get the high they once go. This is where heroin enters the picture.

The price of heroin makes it easy to afford. The drug is also rather easy to find. When an addict needs to find a pain pill, they could spend more than $30.00, especially if they no longer had a prescription. Most pills cost at least $1 per milligram and many pills are 30 or 60 milligrams. Heroin usually costs much less than a single pain pill, and the quality of the drug has improved over the rough version that was used in the 1960s and 1970s. Heroin shoppers usually spend between $10 and $30 for a single use, which is half the price (or less) than the cost of one prescription pain pill – that does not do much for the opioid addict.

The largest consumer of pain medications is the people of the United States. This means that the United States also has the most deaths caused by overdose from opioids. Some say that one person dies from an opioid-related death every 20 minutes in the United States. These numbers have increased dramatically in just 10 years. While the addiction numbers in Canada are not as dramatic as those in the United States, the numbers are staggering and the trends follow what is happening across the border.

Professionals who work in the opioid addiction treatment specially continue to see increasing admissions rates in their facilities. The people who are looking for treatment help need it for heroin and for their prescription medications. Some states have seen increases over at least one full percent over the course of one year; that may not sound like much, but when talking about states with millions of residents, one percent is significant. There have been reports of heroin trafficking charges increasing by over 100 percent over the course of one year in some of the states that border Canada. Those who claim to be addicted to heroin have risen over 200 percent in ten years.

The heroin that comes through the United States and into Canada originates in Mexico. Farmers in Mexico have realized that they can make more money selling heroin instead of marijuana, so they now grow poppies. The drug cartels pay well because they know that it is more dangerous to transport heroin tar, but they still put people at risk because there are so many people who want the drug to the north.

If you or someone you know need any treatment, contact us at our head office at 905-527-2042 to get the best addiction treatment.


Babies and Addiction: Growing Trend Not Looking Good

Posted on :  July 24th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

With the upward trend in addiction to pain medication and opioids, adults are not the only ones who are addicted. Newborn babies are also addicted. The numbers of babies being born with an addiction to an opioid has grown significantly with at least 15 times more babies being born with addictions than there were 20 years ago. This shows how many mothers are involved in using or abusing opioids or pain medication while they are pregnant. Sadly, this results in innocent babies being born with the struggles of withdrawal. This also shows how many mothers should be put on Methadone to help them fight the urge to take opioids while they are pregnant especially since Methadone has been shown to decrease the number of babies born with addiction symptoms.

It is easy to recognize opioid withdrawal symptoms in infants. The symptoms are officially called neonatal abstinence syndrome, which comes from the being addicted to drugs like morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, or even heroin. The symptoms can include diarrhea and vomiting, which can result in dehydration. They also include seizures, shaking, and muscle spasms. These problems can all be accompanied by high fevers and substantial crying. Babies as young as two weeks of age can show symptoms.

Doctors are working with mothers who are addicted or could develop an addiction to painkillers to help decrease the number of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome. Some doctors have noticed that babies are not only being born with withdrawal symptoms, but those with mothers who are addicted to painkillers are also showing an increase in birth defects. Some of the other problems doctors are seeing include premature birth and low birth weight along with problems in the spinal cord, brain, and heart.

Some hospitals in the United States are seeing nearly 100 babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome over the course of one year. This increase has spurred efforts for doctors to begin working with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and with mental health professionals to help lower the number and reduce the number of birth defects.

Nearly 25 percent of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome need to be treated with opioids like morphine. They also need to be treated for their seizure symptoms, too. Babies usually need to stay in neonatal units and many stay for over a month while being treated. Keep in mind that these are newborn infants who ideally should be home bonding with their parents instead of being treated for drug addiction.

Sadly, most of the babies who are being treated for their own addictions have mothers who are also being treated for their addictions. Most of these women do not have quality jobs that help them pay for treatment, especially in the United States. There are usually issues with parental custody because the mothers cannot provide a home for their babies, so many of them end up being wards of the court and they begin their time in foster care. Due to the lack of maternal bonding, these young babies miss out on a vital stage of infancy which affects their mental health and cognitive development for the rest of their lives.

To prevent these unfortunate beginnings for these innocent babies, medical professionals and mental health professionals believe that the mothers should be placed in treatment programs if they test positive for opioids while pregnant. Currently, the numbers of pregnant women in drug treatment programs is too low when compared to the number of babies being born with opioid addictions. Early and regular intervention is a sure way to help prevent babies being born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.

If you need any help to get a loved one into treatment, you can visit a treatment center like Towards Recovery Clinic. If you have any questions or you want to visit us, please contact us at our head office at 905-527-2042.


Addiction Treatment: Alternatives to Methadone

Posted on :  July 22nd, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

As the fight against addiction continues, researchers are always looking for new ways to end this growing problem. Right now, methadone is one of the most commonly used treatment protocols for deathly addictions to heroin and other opioids. This treatment remains effective, which is why it is repeatedly used, but researchers would like to find another one that can work for those who prefer to avoid methadone.

Treating drug addiction with other drugs creates chemical reactions with the chemical reactions of the drugs users are abusing. In some cases, those treatment drugs can cause negative effects on the body. One is Antabuse, which causes those who are fighting alcohol addiction to become sick to their stomachs if they imbibe. By causing the user to want to vomit while taking Antabuse and drinking alcohol, the road to recovery is success because the mind associates alcohol with the feeling of vomiting. Now, researchers who are searching for working medications for heroin addicts have found a drug called Naloxone. In a few studies, researchers have seen interesting outcomes.

Naxolene appears to work by getting involved with the receptor in the brain that is tied to heroin addiction. This receptor is called the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). Naxolene also seems to work by blocking cocaine, too. The TLR4 receptor is responsible for creating the sense of euphoria that comes with using opioids. The receptor appears to make a response that is known as pro-inflammatory, which is an unhealthy reaction that can cause problems like fevers, nausea, inflammation, and tissue loss. When it comes to opioid and cocaine addiction, this pro-inflammation seems like a reward to the human brain, which is why the drugs are so addicting.

When Naxolene is tested, researchers and scientists noticed that opioids were unable to connect to the receptor. This deadens the effects of the drug, so that the user no longer experiences the rewards like euphoria and stoppage of pain. If the drug no longer works, the user should no longer want it; this is the goal of researchers.

The addict’s brain enjoys the feeling from heroin or cocaine use. They often call the experience a “rush” and this occurs when the TLR4 is activated with the molecules of the drug. Once that first rush occurs, the user has no idea that rush will be the best one that he or she will experience. Then, the user tries to recreate the perfect rush with every other use, but to avail. The user will need more drugs to get close. This is what is known as tolerance as the user builds up something like an immunity to the drug. The desire is that the user will eventually stop because of the lack of rush, but many users just keep abusing with the hopes that a rush will occur. Eventually, users overdose trying to get high when their brains will no longer allow it. With Naxolene, the users will be able to stop using before they get to the point of desperation that eventually results in death by overdose.

With researchers finding that TLR4 is responsible not only for the rush from opioids, but also from cocaine, they are closer to making Naxolene a reality for treatment centers. Researchers are hoping to be able to use Naxolene with other addictive substances like methamphetamine and with alcohol. They are hoping that the discovery will be easy to find so that they can simply use Naxolene or another substance that will block a receptor like TLR4. Maybe the discoveries relating to Naxolene will help researchers find the solution to every danger addiction.

If you have any questions or you want to visit Towards Recovery Clinic, please contact us at our head office at 905-527-2042.


What Makes a Good Counselor

Posted on :  July 16th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Shopping for a good counselor for an opioid treatment facility is easier than most people think. There are several qualities that can be vetted during preliminary interviews, so the good candidates will stand out significantly from the poor ones. Whether you are looking to hire a top counselor for a treatment center or you are looking for a counselor for your own addiction or a loved one’s addiction, the desirable qualities are all the same.

Believing in the Treatment

The best counselors at treatment centers are the ones who actually believe that methadone works. When counselors show any sign of reluctance in appropriately prescribing methadone (at a methadone clinic), patients can suffer and so can the reputation of the clinic itself. Most methadone clinics will not employ counselors who do not recognize the power of methadone treatments.

Experience and Kindness Make a Big Difference

Patients often enjoy having a counselor with experience, either personal or with a loved one, regarding addiction and treatment. When a counselor has battled addiction, he or she can offer person lessons to patients. However, counselors also need to have the right education and training to work with real patients suffering from their own real addictions. Personal experience does not offer the same treatment counseling that proper training does.

Build Appropriate Relationships with Warmth

One of the most important traits of a good counselor is being able to build a relationship with patients. The best counselors are not judgmental and they are also warm and kind. They listen and show compassion. It should not matter if a counselor has personal experience as an addict, because compassion can be shown by everyone in the business.

Professional Competencies and Technical Knowledge

According to the publications for counselors who work with men and women who suffer from substance abuse, there are specific competencies and technical skills that counselors should have. Most importantly, they should know addiction. They should be aware of the physical and mental effects of drugs. They should also know all about the different types of treatment options and why they work and do not work. Counselors also need to understand how to best help each patient based on his or her unique needs.

Courteous and Professional Behavior Goes a Long Way

When someone decides to become a counselor and work in a methadone clinic, that counselor needs to be able to behave in a professional manner. It is important to appear as a capable person and to always be courteous. It is important to treat each patient with respect and not use language that makes them seem less than human. It is also important to have appropriate boundaries with their patients, without being too aloof or too close to their patients. Each counselor needs to behave ethically and continue professional development to stay involved in the newest ideas in the profession.

Reducing Turnover for Patients

The best clinics will recruit and hire top counselors and they keep those counselors for long periods of time. Patients appreciate having their favorite counselors during their entire treatment time frame. No one wants to be forced to switch counselors because their favorite counselor left. Every employer knows that turnover can be detrimental to the success of any organization, especially when an organization works with people. Top clinics will pay their counselors well and provide them with worthwhile benefits, too.

Working Together to Help Patients Succeed

Another important aspect of any methadone clinic is the medical staff. While the counseling staff is vital with their one-on-one work with patients, the medical staff is important because of their knowledge of prescription medications. Nurses and doctors need to be properly certified and they need to continue their education, too. It is important that the counselors and the medical staff communicate well with each other to provide the best support for their patients.

Towards Recovery Clinic can be reached by phone at 905-527-2042.


Methadone Maintenance Therapy: What are the Pros and Cons?

Posted on :  July 14th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Methadone Maintenance Therapy or MMT is commonly used by clinics in North America. This therapy uses either methadone or Buprenorphine, because both work to help fight opioid addictions. Those who are addicted to opioids, like heroin or some prescription painkillers are prescribed this therapy. It is recommended that patients who are preparing for this type of treatment should educate themselves about the treatment and the pros and cons of it, too.

What Happens in the First Week

Those who go through this treatment become familiar with it after the first week. Most physicians recommend that you should take the first day of treatment off from work, because you will spend a few hours at the clinic. Physicians will usually prescribe at anywhere between 8 and 15 milligrams on day one. Before you enter the clinic for your first dose, you should also already be in withdrawal from your addiction drug, especially because your treatment drug is stronger than the opiates you are addicted to and the treatment medication will exacerbate your addiction. If you have not created withdrawal for yourself, the medication will do it, which will trick you into thinking that the medication is not working properly. Your self-prescribed withdrawal will also give your physician a better idea of what dosage you need.

What Your Physician Expects During Week One

During the first week, you will see your doctor at least two times. This is so your physician can see that you will actually follow your instructions and take your medication when and how it is prescribed. Your physician will also order lab work and counseling time, too. You can expect to have urine testing to be sure you are following your prescription instructions. If you continue to abuse opiates, you will feel strange because the medication will not be able to properly work to help you fight the addiction. But, if you do take your MMT medication, you should be able to feel “normal” and as if you never started taking drugs.

Why MMT is a Good Choice

Before you decide whether or not to involve yourself in MMT, there are several pros and cons to consider. First, MMT has been used successfully for over 30 years to treat men and women with addictions to opioids. The therapy does involve daily structure, which helps patients find success. It has a cost that is usually put on a sliding scale to make it affordable for everyone who wants the help. There is a support system built in, because of the counseling component and many addicts are able to get support from other addicts through group counseling. The medication used to fight the opioid addiction is an opioid itself, which ends withdrawal symptoms and the medication lasts for more than 24 hours. Doses can be adjusted and increased as needed.

The Challenges of Methadone Therapy

There are a few different reasons to look for other possible treatment options. The first is that people who are involved in MMT can still abuse opioids, even though it is discouraged. There are also many people who are involved in this treatment who feel that they have no say in what is happening, because their physicians and the protocol dictate the meds and therapy sessions. Employers who ask employees to take urine drug tests can see the MMT drugs. Most clinics require patients to come in daily for treatment and this can be difficult for some patients to schedule; it can also make vacation and work-related travel difficult to schedule. Some patients also have problems with the stigma that can be attached to the fact that they need to come in to a methadone clinic on a regular basis.

If you have any questions about methadone treatment, contact Towards Recovery Clinics at 905-527-2042.




Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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